Heaven: Is heaven real?

Heaven: Is heaven real?

Posted on November 22, 2008

TEXT: Matthew 25:1-13

  • 1. Have your thirst and hunger for God, His presence and power increased or diminished?
  • 2. Have worldly cares and worries dampened your enthusiasm for God?
  • 3. Are you what others would call fanatical?

Our passage of reading is a story that I am sure we all know very well. When you hear the story of the ten virgins, it is talking principally about us. There were ten virgins. Virgins represent those who are pure, undefiled, born again, sanctified and cleansed from their sins.

They were going to meet the bridegroom. By the time they were leaving home, they had their lamps full of oil because the lamps were burning, otherwise the foolish would not say to the wise that their lamps were going out. So initially they all started well.

They started pure, holy, keen, full of oil and full of the Holy Spirit, full of light. But then five were wise because they took extra oil and five were foolish because they did not. This tells us something straight away – that to get to heaven is going to take some extra efforts. So when you see people telling some of us that we are fanatical, rejoice; it is those who are fanatical that are likely to make it.

They were waiting for the bridegroom. The foolish thought he would come quickly, but nobody told them the exact time he would come. Jesus made it clear; no man knows the day or the hour, it is in the hand of the Father. Your own duty is to watch and pray. So they waited. People asked the question, “Why has the Lord tarried so long?” It is because someone must be saved before He comes.

Before the foundations of the earth, the table had been set for the wedding of the Lamb. There are specific numbers of chairs that will be occupied. My name is on one of the chairs. There might be some people who will be born again this morning whose names are on the chairs. Until they are born again the bridegroom cannot come, because there will be no vacant seats on that day.

Of course He may come before I finish preaching. If He does, I can assure you there will be some of us who will rejoice, because His return will be a day of joy for some and of sorrow for others.

Jesus tarried, and while He did, these people had been waiting for a long time. Every one of them slept, the wise and the foolish alike. Just like today, almost all over the world Christians are sleeping.

Today people talk more about prosperity than about consecration, people now talk more about power than about glory, people now talk more about the gifts of the Holy Spirit than about the fruit. Such men are known for their chain of cars and countless houses, even if they beat their wives.

They were sleeping; both the wise as well as the foolish. But then at midnight there was a cry made, an alarm sounded, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; wake up, trim your lamps, go and meet him.” When they all woke up, it was then that some discovered that their lamps needed more oil, but those who had extra oil, kept their lamp burning. The others discovered they had no more oil; they searched their pockets but had no extra.

 They begged for oil, the wise said, “Sorry, we still don’t know how much longer we have to wait.” They probably said, “We will give you money, if that is what you want. We will advise you, if you want advice, but this bridge that is going to determine whether we enter in with the bridegroom or not, we cannot share.”

Why midnight – Why did a cry come at midnight?

The midnight is where night and day meet. At midnight, pm ends, am begins. When the Lord comes, it will be the beginning of a new day: a day that will last forever, a day of joy and peace; pleasure forevermore for those who are ready.

When the Lord comes that will also be the beginning of a long night of sorrow, pain, and anguish for those who are not ready-and cannot go in with Him.

Why the cry? Because the Almighty God is full of grace. He does not really want anyone to perish. He wants to give everyone an opportunity; at least one last opportunity to receive Him, so that they will not perish.

After all, He said in John 3:16:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The midnight cry signifies a last and final warning. It was the last cry that the wise as well as the foolish heard before their final fates were sealed. Whenever God wants to pronounce judgment, because He is a God of love. He will first of all give one final warning.

There are many reading this Bible for whom this might be your final warning. To me the preacher, it is my final warning. To you the reader, it is your final warning. What you now do with that final warning will determine where you spend eternity.

Let us take some examples very quickly. Take the example of Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel 4:27-33 God wanted to pronounce judgment on Nebuchadnezzar, so He showed him a dream. A tree – a prosperous, famous, successful, blessed tree – but all of a sudden a sound came from heaven saying, “Cut it down.”

 He woke and knew that it was not an ordinary dream; someone was trying to get a message to him. So he sent for the man of God and said, “Can you interpret this dream for me.” Daniel told him, “Sir, you are that tree and God wants to cut you down, but He has shown you this dream as a final warning. Please repent so that God can change His mind.”

Nebuchadnezzar said, “Thank you very much, I will promote you and give you money and honour, thank you for the interpretation.” “Now what are you going to do about it your majesty?” “Oh, don’t worry about that.” God waited another twelve months for Nebuchadnezzar to repent; he did not and you know the rest of the story.

King Pharaoh is another example. When God wanted to wipe out the nation of Egypt with famine. He sent him a warning. The Bible says in Genesis 41:1-30 he had two dreams; one showed that there was going to be seven years of plenty, another one seven years of famine. Of course he woke up and did not know the meaning of the dream because what he saw was cows swallowing cows, corn swallowing corn.

So he got a man of God to explain and Joseph told him. “There will be seven years of prosperity but that will be followed by seven years of such intense famine that the prosperity will never be remembered. Do something about it sir.” Pharaoh did something about it and he saved his people.

For some people, at times the warning comes too late. I hope that your own will not come too late. In Daniel 5:1-30, there is the story of King Belshazzar who had done all kinds of horrible things. He knew the story of his father Nebuchadnezzar, and knew all that God had done in his life person, but he did not learn his lesson.

 So one day they had a party, they were eating and drinking and he said, “By the way we got some cups from the house of the God of Israel. Go and bring them so myself, my wives and concubines, can drink from those cups.” As they were drinking, suddenly they saw a finger writing on the wall.

The king saw it, but not the hand that was doing the writing. It was from that the well known saying, “The handwriting is on the wall” comes. He was shaken, “Send for the man of God.” He said, “Sir, could you explain this to me?”

The man of God said, “Sure, God is saying. He has weighed you and found you wanting and summarised your entire aim and found it to be completely worthless and has decided to put an end to it. He has taken your kingdom from you and given it to another.”

I would have thought that if anybody heard that, he would have fallen flat on his face, saying “God have mercy, please give me another opportunity to serve you.” No, he did not do that. He ignored the warning and died that night

I am going to illustrate this point with three short stories.

Story number 1

Several years ago, more than twenty years ago, I was sitting in my office at the University of Lagos. I took my pen and I wanted to begin to solve a mathematical problem, when all of a sudden God spoke to me and said, “Son, I want you to write a letter to Chief So and So.” He gave me the name. I had never met him.

“Tell him I love him and I don’t want him to perish: I want to save his soul. If he will surrender to Me, I will help him to solve his problems.” So I said, “Yes Lord.” When God speaks to you the first thing you say is yes. After I had said, yes, I said, “But Lord, I don’t even know his address, how do I write a letter to someone whose address I don’t even know.” The Lord said, “Don’t worry, write his name and the name of the town, and post the letter.” “Yes, Lord.”

I wrote the letter and posted it. With the Nigerian postal system, when you write a letter and post it, if it arrives in three months you should thank God! This one arrived on the second day. Because two days after I wrote the letter, the Chief’s driver came and said, “Chief So and So got your letter and said, ‘Please don’t bother to come.'” Because I had written in the letter, “If you want me to come and explain details of this to you, I will come, just send for me.”

So he said, “Please don’t bother to come sir. I will come myself.” The following day he came and sat down in my office. I explained every detail about salvation to him, everything in detail.

When I finished, he said, “Thank you my friend, this must be God who sent you to me.” Then he told me all the problems he had been having for 25 years. So I said, “Very good, now the solution is simple, give your life to Jesus.” He said, “Let me think about it.”

For several months I kept visiting him, talking to him, pleading with him and each time I asked the question, will you give your life to Jesus now? He would say, “Let me think about it.”

Then he had a stroke and just before he lost consciousness, he told his people to send for me. They sent for me: I went there and prayed for him. Miraculously God healed him totally; there was no trace of the stroke any longer. When he got healed I said, “Sir, I believe this is your last warning. Will you give your life to Jesus Christ now?” He said, “Let me think about it.” Six months later, I heard that he was dead.

Story number two

These stories are true stories, not parables. This one happened in one of our churches in Africa. A lady went to a Bible study which we have during the week and she heard a message that seemed to be applicable to her. After the Bible study, she went to the altar and prayed.

When it was time to close the church the ushers went to her, because she was still praying and said, “Please ma’am, we want to lock up the church.” So reluctantly she left for home, praying all the way.

She got home and continued to pray. At about 2am she woke up her mother and apologised for everything she had ever done wrong. The mother said, “No problem, it can wait until tomorrow.” Very early in the morning she went to the husband where he was working and apologized to him for all the evil she had done, she asked for forgiveness. The husband said, “Everything is okay, you’re forgiven.”

She was returning to her town. She had a child with her as she stood by the roadside waiting for transport when all of a sudden a trailer came around the bend. The trailer picked her up, separated her neatly from the child and by the time she fell, she was dead. I know that when I get to heaven, I will see her.

Two people had two final warnings. One ignored it but today, he must be regretting in hell. The other one took the opportunity and did something about it and is now in heaven.

Story number three

This one happened last year on our camp ground. At that time, I was National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and we had a Pentecostal Fellowship National Conference. A Bishop came to speak to us on the second coming of Jesus Christ. He was giving us all kinds of evidence to show that Jesus was coming soon.

Newspaper cuttings, pictures of heaven taken by astronauts, sounds of cries for help by those who were digging deep into the earth and so on and so forth. When he finished, as the president I had to pass a little comment and I got up and I was going to say,

 “Brethren, if we say Jesus will come tomorrow and he does not come tomorrow and you die, then as far as we are concerned, Jesus has come for you, because there is no repentance in the grave.” But at that time, we had just lost a bishop by violent death and I did not want to talk about death so I would not be misunderstood. So I simply said, “Brethren if you do not believe the preacher because of all of the evidence he has shown you, please believe him because the Word of God says so.” So we closed the meeting.

I travelled abroad and came back after two weeks. As I was arriving back into the country, the first news I heard was that the very bishop who spoke to us about the second coming of Jesus Christ was dead.

I am not saying that I am going to die now, but I may. I do not pray that any of you will die, but you may. There are people who are younger than us who have died. We only know today, only the Almighty God knows tomorrow. Where you will spend eternity will be determined by the decision you take now. You have heard your midnight cry.

“The Lord is saying to you now, “Son, daughter why are you struggling with me, why don’t you surrender, why don’t you let me take over your life from now on, forgive what you have done in the past and give you a brand new life.”


If you say no, on the Day of Judgment, He will show you a video recording of you reading this Bible lesson and He will say, “I gave you every opportunity, you refused it.” Then He will say, “Depart from me, for I knew you not.” But if you do something about it today, this day will mark a turning point in your life. Your joy will begin. Because there is no greater miracle than you can ever have than that of the salvation of your soul. The choice is yours


  • 1. The ten virgins in the story represent those who are pure, undefiled, born again, sanctified and cleansed from their sins.
  • 2. Why has the Lord tarried so long? It is because someone must be saved before He will come?
  • 3. A successful man today in Christendom seems to be a miracle worker, with a chain of cars and countless houses: even if he beats his wife.
  • 4. Why the midnight cry? Because the Almighty God is full of grace, He does not really want anyone to perish. He wants to give everyone an opportunity; at least one last opportunity to receive Him, so that they will not perish.

There is There is no greater miracle than the salvation of your soul. The choice is yours.

Source: E-Heavens, Redeemedd Christian Church of God